@blackbird71, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I do realize I'm eventually going to need a new regular browser. As it is, Opera 12 has features I love, but it's not super reliable any more (leaks memory, gets into states where it won't open connections to web sites, etc.).
I did go ahead and let it install the new version to have a look. It read my Opera 12 bookmarks and even restored my Opera 12 tabs, which is nice.
My first impression is that it's Chrome with some minor tweaks but without such essential features as bookmark sync. Here are some of the things I like about Opera 12 that I didn't find:
Is there any way to have multiple rows of tabs? Without this, it's impractical to have more than a dozen tabs open at once.
Is there any way to cycle tabs in MRU order? This is perhaps the single feature I hate most about Chrome -- Ctrl-Tab only cycles left-to-right, and closing a tab just opens the adjacent one. I want Ctrl-Tab to go back to the most recently visited tab, and I want closing a tab to do the same. I frequently find myself alternating my attention between two tabs, and this is just horrendous to do without MRU tab order. I have found extensions that restore some of the Opera 12 tab behavior (e.g., closing tab goes to last visited), but none that fixed Ctrl-Tab behavior. There aren't any Chrome extensions for this, either, so I'm guessing it's a Chrome engine restriction. (I find it ironic that Opera, which pioneered tabbed browsing, seems to have fallen down so badly in this area.)
Is there any quick way to toggle loading of images on/off? Opera 12 has a button in the button bar.
Fit to width? Again, Opera 12 has a button.
Save a web page in mht format? (I see there's an extension called SingleFile that might actually be better in some cases.)
So far, I've only discovered one Opera feature that I like, is in the new Opera, and which Chrome doesn't have: the z (back) shortcut. But in Opera 12, I customized this to be Back | Close, which makes it even more useful. I don't see any capability for keyboard customization in Opera 26.
Has anyone written anything extolling Opera over Chrome? You'd think Opera marketing might have, but I couldn't find anything.
Incidentally, OperaMail was a huge failure for me. I installed it and pointed it at my old accounts.ini (on a machine where I had no mail, just news feeds). It spent a long time reading the .mbs files, and when it finally came up, there were zero feeds. Thousands of messages when I tell it to "Read Feeds", but they're all mixed together. When I go to "Manage Feeds" there are no feeds. Big disappointment.